More than 900 authors signed an open letter to Amazon that appeared in print Sunday and is online at the website Authors United. The letter appealed to Amazon to treat books from Hachette fairly.
“As writers -- most of us not published by Hachette -- we feel strongly that no bookseller should block the sale of books or otherwise prevent or discourage customers from ordering or receiving the books they want,” they wrote on the Authors United website. “It is not right for Amazon to single out a group of authors, who are not involved in the dispute, for selective retaliation.”
Since the spring, as the result of a contract dispute with Hachette, Amazon has made it impossible to pre-order many Hachette books, imposed artificial delivery delays and made it difficult for customers to find Hachette books on its website.
The writers who signed the Authors United letter include bestselling novelists, award-winning biographers, Pulitzer Prize winners and MacArthur “Genius” fellows.
Some authors have said that they would have liked to have signed but hadn’t been asked, or didn’t know how to get involved.
Authors United was organized by Douglas Preston, an author of bestselling thrillers. At first, he said, his idea of writing an open letter to Amazon was not well-received. Amazon currently sells 30% to 40% of all e-books.
“I wrote the letter and circulated it to a couple of friends hoping to get 12 brave friends to sign it. I was met with a huge amount of reluctance to be one of 12,” Preston told Salon. “This went on for about three weeks, as I tried to get four or five people to sign. But then, over the course of two days, it went viral. It was incredible. I got like a thousand emails from across the spectrum: debut authors, mid-list authors, best-sellers, cookbook authors, Pulitzer Prize-winning historians -- they all emailed me, and said please put my name on this letter.”
So who are they? Take a look at a few and what they’re known for above.
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